Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Reworking the reworking.

I have decided to rework my Patagonia book and now deeply involved with the thing again. It is becoming like a former lover you know you should let go and yet find yourself drawn back - the infatuation still there. It is probably not good for me but I am doing it anyway. I am allowing another point of view in the hope that it becomes more involving, and cutting out yet another of my characters. Less is more, I think, even in the field of literature.

'You're not going to rewrite it again!' my mother asks, incredulously. But I am. Four months since I finished the last re-write. Is this the seventh version? I fear that it is - and yet each time I believe (and hope) that it gets better...and I am enjoying every moment.


Blogger jem said...

I believe less is more, perhaps especially in the field of literature. Less allows the reader to come close, to really examine the character/s and events from proximity. Sparse allows greater thought to focus on what is there. A hook on a blank wall can mesmerise for hours, on a cluttered wall it would go unnoticed.

If you feel the need to re-write you should. You never know, this might be 'The One'! Good luck!

Tue Jan 22, 04:16:00 pm  
OpenID Petrona said...

I was talking to a friend at work today who was telling me just his experiences along these lines. He has had a lot of non-fiction published but not fiction. He wrote a novel a while back, then more recently wrote another one, which was serialised online. But this online experience has encouraged him (also encouraged by his agent) to take the previous work of fiction and completely rewrite it, now he has learnt about plotting and "show not tell".
He's really enjoying the process, too.

Tue Jan 22, 08:39:00 pm  
Blogger Minx said...

My former lover is running in the opposite direction at the moment!

Tue Jan 22, 11:39:00 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

This is very good news indeed.

Wed Jan 23, 02:07:00 pm  
Anonymous Clare. said...

Yes, Jem, I generally like the terse stuff too.

Interesting what you say about your frined Maixine - sometimes I think I do rather too much showing and think perhaps I should not be afraid to tell just oaccasionally. It's a difficult business this writing lark...

Heh. Very good Minx!

Thanks Lee.

Wed Jan 23, 07:25:00 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

Clare, please don't worry too much about the conventions of 'show-don't tell'! This is one of those 'writing rules' which carry some truth, but only some. You've read Francine Prose on this haven't you? And the very richness of an interior life - or its contradictions! - can't possibly be rendered just by 'showing', surely one of the great strengths of the novel. I think it's more a question of balance ... (And of course it depends on the sort of books people like to read; they read for such different reasons.)

Thu Jan 24, 08:35:00 am  
Anonymous Clare. said...

Yes, I agree, Lee - balance is the key. I think I went too much one way and now need to relax a little to do more of the other!

Sat Jan 26, 10:10:00 pm  

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